Responding to Guidance

The availability of GPS technology means we can quickly get travel directions in our cars or on our phones. But even a casual user of this technology will know it is naive just to trust the GPS. Sometimes it gets things wrong.

gps wrong

I still need to use discernment and common sense as a driver as I respond to its guidance.

On a recent trip to Sydney, my GPS wanted me to go a different way to what I thought was best. I wanted to resist it, priding myself on my knowledge of the city in which I had spent the first 30 years of my life. I choose to follow it, and when a few minutes later became familiar with my surrounds again, I was glad I followed – the GPS took 5 minutes off my trip.

Responding to guidance in our Christian life is something worth considering in light of our readings from Genesis 23-24 this morning.

Sarah, wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac has passed away. Abraham is very old, but still remembers God’s promises (v6). He sends his servant to his home country to find a wife for Isaac.  More than just finding a wife for his son, Abraham continues to show faith in God’s promise, that through Isaac (Genesis 17:19)  the great nation that God promised Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) will come.

The servant determines a way to seek God’s guidance in this matter and discovers Rebekah.  He is sure as anything that this is the woman God has chosen to be Isaac’s wife.  Now he just needs to convince her family.

He meets them and tells his story.  I wonder what I would have been thinking… maybe “Get out of my house creepy stranger”.  Remember the couldn’t just inbox Abraham to check out this guys credentials. Yet their response is another great story of faith in the bigger story of God’s faithfulness.

When the servant finally gets to the end of the story, he simply says (my paraphrase) “put me out of my anxiety. Yes or No. Just tell me! Either way I’ll get on with life.”

The response of the family is striking “This is from the Lord; we can say nothing to you one way or another. Here is Rebekah; take her and go.”

There is much more to consider about knowing the voice of God and discerning his guidance. This morning though, let’s just consider this – when we know something is from God, do we respond with such clear cut obedience, even at personal cost.

God guides us so clearly through his word.  There is so much about which we can say “This is from the Lord”, and then respond with obedience.

Take courage today from this example of faith. Spend some time considering what God may be asking you to do, and commit to obey the clear guidance of God in the strength of His Holy Spirit.